The Seminoles enter the conference tournament as the third seed in back-to-back seasons. In its first six years in the ACC, FloridaState was either the seventh or eighth seed entering ever ACC Tournament but since 2001 FloridaState has been a top four seed for five straight years. FSU finished second this season but due to a tie-breaking loss to UVA will be the tournament’s third seed. In the last five tournaments, FloridaState has been the No. 2 seed (2003), a No. 3 seed (2004 & 2005) and a No. 4 seed (2001 & 2002). FloridaState and North Carolina are the only two teams to be seeded fourth or higher in each of the last five ACC Tournaments and they are the only two schools to play for multiple ACC Championships over that span as well. If you want to find out why FSU has been successful, the answer is pretty simple. First, the seedings have helped considering FSU opened the tournament with North Carolina four times in its first five ACC Tournaments. The other reason is goals. Since the 2000 tournament, FloridaState has scored 17 goals in ACC Championship play. In the five years previous, FSU had just one goal.
Clemson was the first ACC team FSU ever beat and that win came back in 1996. It was the lone bright spot in the series for FSU up until 2001. The Tigers led the all-time series 7-2 up until 2001 but FSU is unbeaten in the last five meetings (4-0-1). FloridaState is 5-1-1 in its last seven games versus the Tigers and hasn’t lost to Clemson since the NCAA Tournament in 2001. The Seminoles are still looking for their first-ever win against Clemson in the postseason. The Tigers are 2-0-1 all-time against FSU in postseason play. The two wins came in Clemson in 2000 and 2001. The tie was in Cary, NC at last year’s ACC Tournament. It was the first time the team’s ever met in the ACC Championships and Clemson eliminated FSU in PK’s.Six of the last seven meetings between the teams have either been decided by one goal or ended up in ties. In ACC games, FSU and Clemson had played five straight one-goal games dating back to 2000 before FloridaState‘s 3-0 win last weekend in the regular season finale for both teams. FSU was 4-1 in those five one-goal matches. Last season’s ACC Tournament meeting was the second OT game between the teams. Clemson has never beaten FSU by virtue of a golden goal as the Seminoles are 1-0-1 in OT games.
FloridaState and WakeForest have played 13 times with just two of those meetings coming in ACC Tournament play. After a 4-1 win over the Demon Deacons on October 21 in Tallahassee, Florida State has not lost to WakeForest since 2002. That season the Demon Deacons beat FSU in Tallahassee 3-2 in double OT. Despite the lopsided series record, the last eight games in the series have gone back and forth. Since Wake jumped out to a 5-0 lead, FSU has gone 4-2-2 in the last eight meetings with the Deacs. Four of the last five meetings have all been decided by one goal or ended in a tie. In fact, eight of the 13 games in the series have been ties or one-goal matches. The last time either team won a match by more than one goal was in 2005 when FSU downed Wake 4-1 in Tallahassee. It tied the largest margin of victory by either team in series history. Wake downed FSU 4-1 in the Seminoles inaugural season in 1995. Both times the teams have played in the ACC Tournament (2000 and 2003) the games have either gone to OT or been decided by a goal. In 2000, FSU advanced past the Demon Deacons in a shootout. In 2003 the Seminoles beat the Deacs 2-1 in Cary to advance to the ACC semi-final versus Maryland.
Since 2000, the Seminoles have recorded their first-ever victory against three different ACC schools and have beaten every team in the conference except for Virginia. Florida State is the only school of the first eight conference members that has recorded a win over North Carolina but never defeated Virginia. Wake Forest, NC State, Duke and Clemson, along with FSU, all have wins over the Tar Heels but FloridaState is the only team from that group that hasn’t also recorded a program victory over the Cavaliers. The Tribe advanced past the Cavs in a shootout at the 2001 ACC Championships but that game was officially a tie. FSU has been close to breaking through versus UVA losing the last eight conference meetings by just one goal each time including an overtime loss in 1998. The last time Virginia beat FSU by more than one goal was 1998 when the Cavs beat FSU 2-0 in the ACC Tournament. Those are the only two meetings between the teams in postseason play. Considering the fact FSU is 0-11 all-time in conference versus UVA, their 0-1-1 record in the ACC Tournament isn’t so bad. In six of FSU’s 12 losses to Virginia, the Cavs have either tied or won the game with less than on the clock and on four occasions the goal came with under two minutes remaining in the match.
In 2003 the Seminoles looked like they were ready to put an end to the Cav Curse in Charlottesville with a 2-1 lead and the clock nearing the 86thminute. Virginia tied the game with exactly left and then won the match with :27 remaining. The curse not only got the Cavaliers the two goals they needed but also kept an FSU goal out. Jez Ratliff’s shot with :12 left bounced off the inside of the UVA goal post, into the back of a defender and out of bounds. During the regular season in 2001, FSU held a 2-1 lead over the Cavs in Charlottesville before Virginia evened the match with just over remaining. The Cavaliers then got the game-winner with less than two minutes left in regulation. In 2000, FSU and UVA were tied at 0-0 before the Cavaliers scored another 89th-minute goal to record a 1-0 win. The meeting between the two schools in 1999 was another tough one for FSU. Once again the game was scoreless going into the final before UVA scored to win 1-0. The regular season meeting in 1998 might have been the most heartbreaking of all the losses FSU has suffered at the hands of the Cavs. The Garnet and Gold took a 3-2 lead in to the 89th-minute before UVA once again tied the match and won the game just six minutes in to OT. In 1997 Virginia used another 89th–minute goal to beat FloridaState.
FloridaState and BostonCollege have never met in the ACC Tournament but the two teams do have experience against one another in the postseason. Boston College and FSU met last season in the NCAA Tournament in Gainesville. The game ended in a 0-0 tie but BC eliminated FSU in the first round for the first time in school history in a shootout. When the teams met in their first-ever ACC game earlier this season Boston College became the first team that FSU had ever met for the first time in the NCAA Tournament and then faced in the regular season. The Seminoles won that match in Tallahassee 3-0. The Eagles came into the game having allowed just three goals all season. With that win the Seminoles improved to 3-0 in their first ACC game versus a new member and they haven’t allowed a goal in any of those games. Last season FSU defeated Miami and Virginia Tech 1-0 in the first ever conference meetings between the schools. That is quite a change from just over 10 years ago when the Seminoles went 0-7 in their first meeting with every original ACC team.
Earlier this year FloridaState and North Carolina played the first game ever between the schools when both teams were undefeated. UNC used a three goal outburst in a matter of before half to run away with a 4-1 win. As the Tar Heels continued to own the series between the teams winning 16 of 17 matches. The only time FSU has ever defeated the Heels came in a game played in Tallahassee on a Tuesday night in 2000. While UNC has won eight in a row, two of the last four meetings have been decided by just one goal.
After going 0-9 and being outscored 62-3 from 1995 to 1999 against the Tar Heels, FSU has been outscored 30-9 since 2000 but still posted a record of just 1-8 in that span. Since 1995, the year FSU began its soccer program, no team in the country has faced North Carolina as many times as the Seminoles. Only one other school has played as many games against UNC in that span and that is WakeForest who also has played 17 games versus the Heels in the last 10 seasons. The main reason for that are the seven meetings between the teams in the ACC Tournament. The first four were meetings between 1 and 8 seeds, with FSU being the eight in all four of those matches. Of the last three ACC Tournament meetings between the teams, two have come in the championship game and one has been in the semi-finals.
The only two seasons that the Seminoles did not play the Tar Heels in the conference tournament was 1998 and 2002. The two met for the ACC Championship in 2001 and 2003. The Tar Heels easily won the 2001 game 4-0 but it was a different story in 2004. The game was an absolute joy to watch as No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Florida State played the closest ACC Final in 15 years up to that point. FloridaState led the Heels after 50 minutes and according to UNC head coach Anson Dorrance he couldn’t remember ever trailing for that length of time (almost 23 minutes) in an ACC Final. The Seminoles became the first team to even score on the Tar Heels in an ACC Championship game in five years and they were the first team to score two goals on UNC in the championship game since 1994. The Tar Heels came into the ACC Final with a shutout streak that extended for over 540 minutes and they had won those six games by an average score of 4-0. In their 15 ACC Tournament finals, UNC had an average margin of victory of more than three goals every time out coming into the 2004 championship. Kelly Rowland scored both of FSU’s goals and in turn became the first Seminole to ever score twice in a game versus Carolina and the first player to score two goals in a game versus UNC since Wake Forest’s Sarah Kosey did it October 10, 2002. After all was said and done, a late Cat Reddick PK gave UNC the 3-2 win.
The Seminoles and Heels played in the semi-finals in 2000 when FSU advanced for the first time ever after ousting No. 2 seed WakeForest in PKs after a 1-1 tie. Carolina won that game 3-0.
It’s hard to find a stranger series between FSU and any of its ACC opponents than the series with Maryland. While the Terrapins are one of just two of the original seven ACC teams that FSU is .500 or better against, the Seminoles have a losing record at home versus Maryland and are just 2-2 at Ludwig Field. Where FSU has had its most success has been at neutral sites in ACC Tournament games going 2-1. The only time FSU lost to the Terrapins in an ACC Tournament game was in 2002 when FSU hosted the tourney in Tallahassee. The 2003 meeting between the teams at the ACC Tournament was the first time that FSU and Maryland met in a game other than the first round. Florida State defeated Maryland 1-0 to advance to the school’s second-ever ACC Tournament Championship game. In 2001, FSU’s 7-2 explosion in the opening round of the ACC Tournament at WakeForest was the first ever ACC Tournament victory for the FSU program.
Since 2001, FSU is 6-1-1 versus the Terrapins and 5-0-1 in the last five meetings in ACC play. The last time FSU lost a game to Maryland was in the 2002 ACC Tournament in Tallahassee going 3-0-1 since that game. The most obvious reason FSU has had success versus Maryland lately is goal production. The Seminoles have scored in seven straight games versus the Terrapins, the longest streak versus any ACC team. The last time the Seminoles were held without a goal versus UMD was in 2000 when they lost 2-0 in College Park. In the first six meetings in the series Maryland out scored FSU 16-4, since then the Seminoles have 19-9 edge in goals scored. Maryland is one of just two ACC teams that FSU has scored 20 or more goals against. The Seminoles have scored 23 goals in the all-time series with Maryland, just ahead of the 22 goals they have recorded versus NC State.
After Duke jumped out to a commanding 5-0-1 lead in the series, FSU wrestled control away from Duke going 3-0-1 in the next four meetings. The Blue Devils snapped that three-game winless streak versus Florida State last season in Durham though with a convincing 2-0 win before FSU got back on the winning track thanks to Mami Yamaguchi’s golden goal in double OT in Tallahassee earlier this year. The two teams have NEVER met in the postseason and the Blue Devils are one of only two original ACC teams FSU has never met in the ACC Tournament (NC State is the other).
After playing a one-goal game in 2000 and back-to-back double-OT games in 2001 and 2002, the last two meetings had been decided by two or more goals before the 2005 thriller, which was a 2-1 FSU win. Florida State and Duke have played five OT games in series history, which is the most FSU, has played versus any school and FSU leads 2-1-2. Duke is the only school FSU has ever recorded two OT wins against. If the teams end up facing one another in Cary this week FSU will be fighting history. The Seminoles are 0-3-2 all-time against the Blue Devils in the state of North Carolina. All three FSU wins have come in Tallahassee.
FloridaState will head into the ACC Tournament as the hottest team in the conference. FSU has won a school-record eight straight games and seven in a row in ACC play. No other ACC team, outside of the Seminoles, is on a winning streak of more than four games. The only ACC team this season to have a longer overall win streak was North Carolina who began the year 13-0.The Seminoles’ seven game ACC win streak isn’t only the longest active streak this season but it is also the longest conference winning streak of the year. The previous best streak was five games and set by UNC. With their win over Clemson, FSU joined North Carolina as only the second team in ACC history to ever win seven straight conference matches.
FloridaState‘s record-breaking ACC season is just another example of how far this program has come in ACC play. Over the last three seasons, only North Carolina has won more conference games than Florida State. With eight wins this year, the Tar Heels have 25 victories in conference action since 2003. FloridaState has 17 and is tied with Virginia for second place. In just the last three seasons, FSU has accumulated four more wins than the program had in the previous eight seasons combined. The Seminoles haven’t only been successful in the ACC regular season. They have assumed the role of one of the conference’s flagship programs. Only North Carolina has been to more ACC Championship games, more NCAA Tournament quarterfinals and more College Cups than FSU since 2000. Only FSU and North Carolina have been to a College Cup this decade and only those two schools have made multiple trips to the ACC Championships since 2000. The Seminoles are even one of the top ACC teams win it comes to overall wins since 2000. Only FSU and North Carolina have won more than 80 games in the last six years. Carolina is way ahead of the pack with 132 overall wins but FSU’s 88 are five more than the next closest ACC squad. FloridaState and North Carolina are also the only two teams to be seeded fourth or higher in each of the last five ACC Tournaments. When you combine wins in conference, overall wins and success in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments it is hard to argue that FSU isn’t the ACC’s premiere team behind the Tar Heels.
ACC WINS ACC WINSACC FINALSSWEET 16’SCOLLEGE CUPS
SINCE 2003SINCE 2001SINCE 2000SINCE 2000SINCE 2000
FSU 17UVA26FSU 2FSU3FSU1
HE DESERVES IT
You never know what will happen when it comes to ACC Coach of the Year voting. Anson Dorrance is a strong candidate every year along with Virginia‘s Steve Swanson but a very strong case can be made for FloridaState‘s Mark Krikorian. The Seminole boss came into the 2005 season with more questions than answers and led FSU to its best regular season, to its best conference season, to two record win streaks, to a second place finish in the conference and to wins over five teams ranked in the NSCAA top 25. Krikorian has guided the Seminoles into uncharted territory as far as win streaks of seven and eight games. He is only the second coach in ACC history to lead his team to a seven game win streak inside the conference and he did one thing this season that no other ACC coach in this week’s tournament was able to do. Krikorian’s Seminoles were the only team in the ACC Tournament to finish higher than they were predicted in the preseason coaches’ poll. FloridaState was pegged to finish sixth and wound up in second place. The only other ACC teams to exceed expectations were Miami who was picked 11th and finished 10th and NC State who was tabbed 10th and finished ninth. Every other team in the conference either finished where they were predicted or lower.
This will be the second straight season FSU will face Clemson in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. Last year the teams tied 2-2 and FSU was eliminated in a shootout. Wednesday’s meeting will mark the first time the Seminoles have ever played a team in back-to-back games in the same season. The only time FSU closed their conference season with the same team they opened up the ACC Tournament with was in 2001. That year FSU closed ACC play with a 2-0 win over Maryland and then downed the Terps 7-2 in the first round of ACC’s on their way to the championship game. That year the Seminoles played a non-conference game versus Jacksonville between those two Maryland matches.
The 2005 Seminoles are shaping up to be the most dangerous offensive group ever at the school. The Seminoles enter the ACC tournament with 53 goals, which are already the third-most scored by an FSU team. FSU is just seven goals away from tying the all-time record set in 2003 in 10 fewer games. The team’s 48 assists are fourth all-time and just one assist shy of moving up to third. FloridaState is also third all-time in total points with 154. The real measure of how dangerous this offense is can be seen in the average per game numbers. The 2005 Seminoles are averaging over 1.5 more points per game, almost a half a goal more per game and are ahead of the record assist per game mark as well. This team has already set records for goals in ACC play and multi-goal games in conference matches. The 2005 Seminoles are just stacking up against past FSU squads. This team is ranking with the best offenses in the nation. FSU will enter the postseason with the nation’s eighth-highest scoring offense and they are second to North Carolina in all six team offensive categories among ACC squads.
Points Per Gm7.00 (`03)8.562
Goals Per Gm2.55 (`96)2.942
Assists Per Gm2.42 (`01)2.672
IT’S THE COMBINATION
FloridaState‘s offense is on a record-setting pace this year and the numbers prove that (see note “TAKING OFFENSE”) but what has been so special about this team is the combination of that kind of offense with one of the top defensive seasons in team history as well. FloridaState gave up the second-fewest goals ever in ACC play allowing just 10. The all-time record was set in 2003 when the Seminoles allowed an astounding five goals. That team though gave up 23 goals in non-conference and postseason play. The current record for fewest goals allowed was set last year and is 21. This year the squad has allowed only 13 and already set the record for the most regular season shutouts with nine. The most amazing stat concerning this year’s defense is the fact that they have allowed just three goals to non-conference opponents in eight games. To put that in perspective, FSU has allowed at least three goals to one non-conference opponent in eight of the previous 10 seasons. When you combine that kind of stellar play in the back with this explosive offense it is easy to see why FSU enters the postseason with the fifth-best winning percentage in America. This season FloridaState has scored 40 more goals than they have allowed, which is on pace for a new school record. The previous best was a +32 in 2003. Last season FSU was only a plus +8. Only one other team in school history has ever finished a year with a goal differential better than +16.
FSU YEARLY GOAL DIFFERENTIAL
FloridaState will open ACC Tournament play with a school record eight-game winning streak in tow. It is the second school record win streak of the season for FSU after establishing a new record with a 7-0 start to the 2005 season. That winning streak came to an end at the hands of North Carolina. FSU won’t just be in unfamiliar territory because the team has never gone for a ninth straight win, they will also enter the ACC Tournament on a win streak of any kind for just the third time in 11 years. FSU has only entered the tournament after a win twice before and that came in 1998 when the Seminoles entered on a one game win streak and in 2001 when FSU came in with a two-game win streak. Entering the tournament with a win streak has meant good things for FSU in the past. In 1998, the Seminoles lost their opener but it was the closest ACC Tournament game in school history up to that point. After losing 9-0, 7-1 and 5-0, that 2-0 loss to Virginia was FSU’s first big step in the conference tournament. In 2001 the Seminoles closed out the regular season with wins versus JU and Maryland and then proceeded to make a run to the program’s first-ever ACC Championship. That is a good sign for this year’s team since the only other time an FSU team won multiple games heading in to ACC’s they went all the way to the final.
PUTTING IN THE HOURS
FloridaState has had a great year in so many ways and when it comes to playing in overtime that is the case as well. FloridaState won 2OT games versus LMU and Duke this season. Those wins will be huge for FSU as they enter a tournament where three of their 14 matches have gone into extra time. Last season was the first time the Seminoles did not advance at the ACC Tournament when they went to OT. In the previous two OT matches FSU advanced via PK’s versus WakeForest and Virginia. The Seminoles have never recorded a golden goal in the ACC Tournament but are 0-0-3 with just one elimination. FloridaState has a long history of success in OT games. In 33 OT games, FSU has only lost five in school history. FloridaState‘s record in OT games is an impressive 13-5-15. One trend they will look to change though is their last two OT games in postseason both came to an end with FSU falling in PK’s. Both came last season in back-to-back contests versus Clemson in ACC’s and BostonCollege in NCAA’s.
GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START
The Seminoles open the 2005 ACC Tournament versus Clemson Wednesday and FSU should enter the game with some confidence. On top of winning eight in a row, since 2000 FloridaState is 6-1-3 all-time in the first round of the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. In those 10 games, FSU has outscored its opponents 26-12. The only time the Seminoles have ever lost an opening game in the postseason was four years ago versus Maryland when the Tribe hosted the ACC Tournament. Despite the success, last season FSU was eliminated in the first round of ACC’s for the first time since 2002 and in the first round of NCAA’s for the first time ever. While both of those games were officially ties, they ended FloridaState‘s postseason runs on both occasions.
STRAIGHT TO THE TOP
India Trotter came into the 2005 season with just two points in her career in ACC play and both of those came on a game-winning goal at Miami last season. The junior has really flipped things around in ACC games this year. With her four assists Trotter has now tied Amber Tollefson for the single season record for ACC assists. She also has three goals, tied for the fifth-most ever, and her 10 points are the fifth-most in a single conference season as well. Trotter hasn’t just been getting the job done in ACC play. Her eighth assist of the season tied her for the fourth-most in one season in FSU history. Trotter came into the year with six career assists but she didn’t have a single one last season despite starting 19 games. The eighth assist was actually a pretty big one for Trotter. The Ft. Lauderdale native now has eight goals and eight assists on the season making Trotter just the second player in FSU history to ever have as many as eight goals and eight assists in a year. The only other player to ever accomplish that feat was Cindy Schofield in 2001 when she recorded 17 goals and eight assists. With one more assist, Trotter will have the most goals in a season by any player with nine or more assists.
TROTTER 2003-04 V 2005
Tuesday night’s game against the Citadel was not the most lopsided win of the season for FSU according to the final score but it was a record setting game none the less. For the first time in program history, the Seminoles held an opponent without a shot. Florida State out shot the Bulldogs 35-0 and held a 16-0 edge in corner kicks. The game featured 19 different Seminoles as the team closed the home portion of the regular season with a 5-0 win. While holding a team without a shot is rare for FSU, it isn’t an odd occurrence to see a team struggle to get off shots against the Seminoles in 2005. With all the offense the Seminoles are generating, it is easy to overlook the job that FSU’s back four and goalkeeper are doing this season. Teresa Rivera, Kelly Rowland, Sarah Wagenfuhr and Katrin Schmidt have started every game in front of keeper Ali Mims for FSU this year, with the exception of the Citadel, and the line-up is working in record fashion. The Seminoles have allowed just 13 goals this year challenging the record set by last year’s team which allowed just 21 in 20 games. Coming into 2005, FSU had allowed more than one goal to at least five opponents every year in regular season games. This year there have been only two games all season where FSU has given up more than one goal. The 2005 team has already tied the single season shutout record of nine set last season. Their GAA of 0.71 is also well ahead of the school record of 1.02 set last season. The key to FSU’s success is obvious. When you limit an opponent’s opportunities to score, they will score less. The stat that bears that out is opponent shots. Through 18 games, FSU’s opponents have taken 139 shots, which are 62 shots below the record set in 1996. No team in school history has ever given up fewer than 200 shots in a season.
YearOpps. w/ 2+ goalsShots Allowed
FIVE IN THE TOP 25
FSU’s wins over No. 23 Clemson Saturday gave FloridaState five wins over teams ranked in the top 25 of the NSCAA this year, which is a new single season record. The previous record for wins over NSCAA ranked teams in a season was four and set in 2000. Not only has this squad beat five NSCAA ranked teams in 2005, FSU has beaten four of those ranked teams in the last seven games. In 2000 FSU beat three top 10 teams and one top 20 squad. This season FloridaState has victories over two top 10 teams, one top 15 team and two top 25 teams. So far in 2005 the Seminoles have defeated more top 25 NCSAA sides than they did the last two regular seasons combined. The squad’s wins over Duke and Wake two weeks ago marked just the second time in team history that FSU won back-to-back regular season games versus top 25 squads. The last time that happened was 2004 when FSU opened the season with home wins over No. 8 Tennessee and No. 14 Arizona State.
THEY JUST KEEP COMING
As quickly as the wins keep rolling in for the Seminoles the records are falling. With the win over No. 23 Clemson, the 2005 Seminoles have now set records for the most regular season wins, the best regular season winning percentage, the fewest losses, the most ACC wins and the highest ACC winning percentage. FloridaState‘s success this season is unprecedented as no Seminole squad had ever won more than 13 regular season games or recorded fewer than five losses. This is the first season since 2000 that FSU has set new records for winning percentage in both regular season and ACC play. FloridaState‘s current overall winning percentage is almost 190 percentage points higher than the all-time record for winning percentage in a regular season. The Seminoles now have the second-most victories ever including postseason games only one behind the team that won six postseason games en route to the College Cup.